The boat was nice and clean and decorated well. Decor was modern and not as busy as some boats can be. Our room was clean and bathroom was largest we have had on a cruise. Center area of bathroom had sink and vanity and to right was ... Read More
The boat was nice and clean and decorated well. Decor was modern and not as busy as some boats can be. Our room was clean and bathroom was largest we have had on a cruise. Center area of bathroom had sink and vanity and to right was shower with a sliding door, and toilet area had a sliding door as well.
The food quality was very good. The buffet food was good, but set up could be better as it created crowding. Also, seating was limited which was frustrating as we had to sit outside on deck with our food in our laps several times. They should have seating to accommodate everyone. They also have a few separate restaurants on board that are included and not an up charge which was nice. We tried a few of them and they were decent.
The ports were nice and Stir Up Cay the private island was our favorite. Plenty of seating, very clean, the food was very good and set up of island was good. Getting on an off the boat to tender over to island was very easy and fast.
The entertainment did lack a bit compared to other boats we have been on. Our cruise director was not very interactive as others have been and was a little dead and didn't get the crowd involved or going as others have in the past. Night club was nice and we went every night and enjoyed the music. However, sometimes some of the other guest were more entertaining to watch then the actual entertainers.
Staff was friendly and professional and our room was always clean and turned on time. However the staff wasn't very engaging as we have experienced on other cruises. They were never rude, but we never even met our cabin person. Normally they introduce themselves and say hi when they see you in the hallway. Same with dinner service always professional and no issues, but again just not very inter-active/friendly.
Don't worry if you booked this cruise you will have a great time. The food was great and boat was very nice. We traveled with friends and had a lot of fun together. We also had the drink package and although we are not big drinkers did save a lot of money and the drinks were good. My favorite was the Mango Meltdown. Read Less
This whole trip felt like we were in a line. Getting on the ship took 2 hours or more. Disembarkation was super unorganized, we were late to Florida and only enjoyed 2 hours after paying for a 30$ shuttle. They failed to announce tender ... Read More
This whole trip felt like we were in a line. Getting on the ship took 2 hours or more. Disembarkation was super unorganized, we were late to Florida and only enjoyed 2 hours after paying for a 30$ shuttle. They failed to announce tender reservations were required to get off on the private island which was our second stop, so we waited for hours again. Third stop we were in a line as well, although this one moved a little bit faster. Food was horrible. Nothing great even about the special restaurants. Some were booked even on the first day on thru the entire cruise. The staff was hit or miss. Some not very nice at all. Entertainment was cool. Adult only area wasn’t adult only and no one even tried to keep it in order. No chairs to lay on by pool or sun deck on more than one day. Just too many things didn’t go well. I needed a vacation after my vacation. One great thing was the gentleman who cleaned our room. Read Less
I gave this review a very good. Here are the positives: Must see entertainment, Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams of Steam, and Million Dollar Quartet. Casino review: Blackjack very bad to play house had extreme advantage because the Casino ... Read More
I gave this review a very good. Here are the positives: Must see entertainment, Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams of Steam, and Million Dollar Quartet. Casino review: Blackjack very bad to play house had extreme advantage because the Casino uses a shufflemaster. For people who dont understand this the cards played are put right back into the hopper so theres no rhyme or reason as to what card would be coming out next. Poker Tournaments were two days supposed to be 3 days but one was cancelled when private island tour was skipped because of weather at sea. Overall tournaments were satisfactory I wasnt very pleased that after playing an hour or so and there were only 8 of us left that someone could buy in and play the final table with us with a buy in of 100 for 2000 chips and an addon for 4000 chips. It gave a distinct advantage to the new player. Deal or No Deal game was very entertaining. The Spa seemed crowded in hot tub area and was uncomfortable when people jumped in IE 4 guys in one tub just didint sit right with me. Should maybe be some times scheduled for the Hot tub for individuals. Salt room was nice and showers there were very good . Staff and crew members were very cordial and friendly. Maid service impeccable. Casino hosts were very professional. Food everywhere exceptional.
Cons: They lost our luggage on 1st night and we missed out on formal dinner with suits and nice dresses because of it. Also when we arrived at Port Canaveral for stopover it was only 4 hours to visit Sea World and after hr drive made it 3 hrs or less. Private Island trip cancelled missed out on snorkeling . Also rooms were lit by a key card and you need this card to use the bathroom too this would have been a nice thing to know upon entering the stateroom. Enjoy Your Cruise!!! Read Less
After reading so many negative reviews, I wasn't even looking forward to our cruise. However, we couldn't cancel it, so I decided to prepare as much as possible and follow tips from previous passengers. We had never cruised on a ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews, I wasn't even looking forward to our cruise. However, we couldn't cancel it, so I decided to prepare as much as possible and follow tips from previous passengers. We had never cruised on a ship this size before, and found that it was like visiting a big city versus a small town. We enjoyed the perks of a big city, such as entertainment, activities and good food, but also had to deal with rush hour and long lines.
If you are scheduled to go on this ship, book all your shows, specialty dining and excursions as soon as you get your booking number. If you can't book online, call NCL and they will take care of it then email your confirmations. Many people were upset because they had waited till the week of the cruise, or the day of the cruise and everything was sold out. With reservations, we showed up about a half hour before showtimes and had no problem getting seats. If you do an excursion with NCL, you will get gold tickets in your stateroom which allow you to get off the ship first, no waiting for them to call a certain number. For the restaurants, we showed up at the time scheduled. BTW, you can also reserve seating in the main dining rooms.
With our package, we were able to dine at 3 specialty restaurants and chose Teppanaki, Cagneys and Le Bistro. Le Bistro was by far the best. Service was outstanding and the food was delicious and beautifully presented. I wish we ate there all 3 nights! The steak at Cagneys was delicious, but service was horrible. Teppanaki was delicious and entertaining, but very loud and way too much food. Taste and Manhattan had the same menu, but we preferred the ambiance of Manhattan much more. We tried to avoid the Garden Cafe (buffet) as much as possible. It's so loud and difficult to find seating. A tip for the buffet, you can go to the back of the restaurant, there is a staircase leading down a level to La Cucina where they allow you to sit for breakfast and lunch. It's much prettier and quiet. Bring your food down there to eat in peace.
Entertainment was outstanding on this ship. We went to the Cirque show the first night and were so amazed at the talent these people had. It was jaw dropping! Do not miss it. We also loved Priscilla the Desert Queen, but I wish they had chosen a musical that was more family friendly. They had several signs discouraging children under the age of 16. Burn the Floor was awesome as well. They also had a Beatles tribute in the Epic Theater which was outstanding. We went to Howl at the Moon and the Cavern Club for shows as well. Get there at least 45 minutes early and order some drinks or you'll be standing the whole time. They do not have reservations. Again, fantastic entertainment like you'd find in NYC!
Although booking shore excursions through NCL allowed us to get off the ship quicker, they were not too good. We did the jet skis on the private island which was fun, but the island itself isn't worth the hassle of getting on and off the ship via tenders. In Jamaica, we did the Martha Brae bamboo rafting. While the rafting was peaceful and beautiful, what NCL doesn't advertise is that it is an hour and a half drive to get there. UGH. So that was 3 hours of our short day wasted in a bus. We also did the stingray and turtle adventure in Grand Cayman. That was a good one, but the bus that took us there smelled like cat litter and the tour guide mainly pointed out fast food restaurants as we drove. Not too educational. I would recommend booking your own shore excursions with smaller groups, but keep in mind that it takes forever to get off the ship without the gold tickets. TIP: during busy times, especially when getting on and off the ship, get on the elevator going up to go down and vice versa. If you wait for a certain direction, you'll be there a long time.
When you aren't going ashore, I thought the ship had plenty of activities to offer. If you're a gambler, you'll be in heaven. The casino is huge and unlike other reviews, I didn't think the smoke smell was that bad. The pools are tiny but the waterslides are terrific. They also have a rock climbing wall, bowling alley and bungy trampoline. If you are having trouble finding a deck chair, or just want some quiet time, take the elevator from the deck 15 pool area up to deck 18. Then walk all the way to the front of the ship. They have brown wicker loungers there with thick cushions. They also have waiters and a cart of cold beers and other drinks. Speaking of drinks, I recommend ordering a double each time. It may be a long time before someone comes along for another drink order:) Another tip is to bring a Brita water bottle you can fill up in your room. They charge for water bottles, even if you have the unlimited drink package.
Activities for children were plentiful. That's another bonus of this big ship. Our 16 year old son came with us and had a blast at the Teen Club. We didn't see him much except at meal times and some shows. I was worried because he was without his siblings, but he made a lot of friends at the club. He still keeps in touch with several of the kids he met on the cruise.
Keeping in touch on the ship was easy with the NCL app. Be sure to download the app prior to getting on the ship! Once on board, the internet was spotty. The best part of the app was being able to text our son. You have to pay about $10/person/cruise for this feature, but it was worth it. We had unlimited texting while on the ship with him. This is only for texting and calls with other passengers on board, it is not for getting ahold of people back home. Our cruise package also came with 250 minutes of internet. This was enough for me to check my email daily. To use it, you have to login and logout each time. If you forget to logout, you could get a huge bill at the end of your vacation!
All in all, it was a great cruise. However, because it's such a huge ship, way too much time was spent researching and making reservations. Also, getting on and off the ship was a nightmare. I felt like I was at Disney in those long lines. This ship is better for staying on board. Read Less
This was our first family cruise and we had a blast. I was a little nervous choosing the EPIC due to recent negative reviews but we really enjoyed our cruise and had no complaints. Embarkation was smooth, and even though the line was ... Read More
This was our first family cruise and we had a blast. I was a little nervous choosing the EPIC due to recent negative reviews but we really enjoyed our cruise and had no complaints. Embarkation was smooth, and even though the line was long when we arrived to port around 11:15 it really didnt take all that long until we boarded the ship. Disembarkation took a little longer than I anticipated and we chose to carry our bags off. We went to the Western Caribbean and enjoyed all our port stops. It was windy the day we went to Great Stirrup Cay and tendering took long but I was happy to get on the island and we kept busy playing ping pong until our tender was called. We really enjoyed the food - we ate first night in Manhattan, 3 nights in Taste, one night at the buffet. We ate at O'Sheehans for lunch twice although the service was awful the 2nd day. We had breakfast every morning at the buffet and we always found something everyone in our family liked. We saw Burn the Floor, did the Cirque dinner one night and watched the Beatles band in the theatre one night as well - we enjoyed all 3 of these shows. We were in a family mini suite with our two teens and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of storage in our room. While some people complain about the split bathroom etc, that configuration actually worked in our favor. Someone could get ready behind the curtain, someone could brush teeth or put contacts in while someone else was showering etc. We can't wait to cruise again. Read Less
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment. First time with Norwegian, we have cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean but there are only so many times you can go back to the same Caribbean islands and Norwegian had Grand Cayman and Ocho ... Read More
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment. First time with Norwegian, we have cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean but there are only so many times you can go back to the same Caribbean islands and Norwegian had Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios which we had not been to. I give it average 3 stars more for the layout of the staterooms and the small pools on deck 15 and H2O, on one of the sea days we could not get a sun-bed anywhere and yet towels were left on them with no one anywhere to be found and that continued all around deck 15 and 16 we could have checked up higher but we were hoping to see some of the entertainment and deck 18 is kinda blah for atmosphere, and a dip in one of the pools would have been nice.
Food was good both on the buffet and the Irish bar, we did not go to the dining rooms as my husband had been unwell with some treatments he had been receiving before the cruise and dining different courses was going to be too much for him so we stuck with the buffet and the Irish bar/restaurant.
Very impressed with Grand Cayman stop,Ocho Rios was just okay and Cozumel we had been to before, but we do like Cozumel. Norwegian private island did not look to have as much to do as the other cruise lines private island that was docked without having to tender in. Read Less
We wanted to try NCL for their "freestyle cruising". First the embarkation was great. It was fast and efficient. The cabin was standard size for a cruise ship (we have cruised several); however, the beds were too short. I am ... Read More
We wanted to try NCL for their "freestyle cruising". First the embarkation was great. It was fast and efficient. The cabin was standard size for a cruise ship (we have cruised several); however, the beds were too short. I am 5'3" and my feet were hanging of the bed - my husband is 6'2" need I say more. His back was bothering him by the end of the cruise. Toilet is way too small. If you close the door, you have limited space to take care of business. Cabin lighting was horrible. Husband had a hard time shaving and I had a hard time putting on makeup. No make up mirrors. Free entertainment was okay; however, you had to pay for the really good shows. Bingo was expensive compared to Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Some activities were not available as the ship was under construction getting ready to cruise to Spain. Best service received was in the gift shops (of course); otherwise, we were not impressed with the service at all. On one excursion day, we took an afternoon nap and did not awaken until around 8 p.m., I asked for cabin service and was told that they were off duty, which I would not expect from my cabin steward! Good choice of ports. Shore excursions were very nice. Prices for excursions were reasonable and as expected. Took the Dunns River Falls, was nervous at first, but the guide was very good and patient. Would definitely recommend doing that excursion. Most of the free food was not tasty to us, but edible. Debarkation was a nightmare. Elevators were shut down with no notice or as to why. Crew members had no answers as to what was going on so they could not give clear direction. They had you in a line winding around different levels on the ship to leave. We were standing for about an hour and 15 minutes dragging our carry-on's all the way. NCL is more expensive, but not better service. Read Less
The variety of ports of call were the mail reason we selected this cruise. I feel that most of the entertainment was geared to adults, so there was not much evening entertainment that I felt comfortable taking my 12 year old to. We were ... Read More
The variety of ports of call were the mail reason we selected this cruise. I feel that most of the entertainment was geared to adults, so there was not much evening entertainment that I felt comfortable taking my 12 year old to. We were pleased with the staff and the crew. The cabin was comfortable and we were not put-off with the layout, as several other guests commented about. The dining was very good (we used the main dining rooms). I was very disappointed that they chose to close one of the 2 pools (for maintenance? cleaning?) on our last day at sea? People were packed into the one small pool. Also, the water features at the pools (the things that spray water when you walk under them) did not work for the entire trip. The excursions that we chose were fun, interesting, and a good value. In total, we had a very good trip. Read Less
This was a last minute cruise. Booked a family mini suite deck 14. The ship was late leaving port on Saturday. Because they were loading heavy equipment and it was windy.
The bar servers that the pool deck were kept busy this week.
... Read More
This was a last minute cruise. Booked a family mini suite deck 14. The ship was late leaving port on Saturday. Because they were loading heavy equipment and it was windy.
The bar servers that the pool deck were kept busy this week.
We never went to the main dining room. We eat in the garden buffet.
One morning the wife wanted a bowl of cereal, got a box and a carton of milk.
She took a spoon full and ended up spitting it out. She looked that the date on the carton of milk. It was 9 days past expiration date.
Food was either over cooked or it was luke warm.
First port of call was grand stirrup cay it's their beach day. Since I live in Florida I didn't go. Stay about an hour later, because they took a little while to get the ship in position because of some wind.
Second port of call was ocho rios Jamaica, been here several time just got off the ship and walked around the port.
Third port of call was Georgetown Grand Cayman this is a tender port, not sure why the Epic has such a time to get people off the ship but they do. More on that later.
Fourth Port of call is Cozumel Mexico the wife and I went to town and she did some shopping.
We've been to these ports so many times that we don't do shore excursions.
As for self service by taking your own luggage off the ship we got in line at 7:10 am and was off the ship by 8:45am. the worst time ever. Read Less
This was a large-scale family vacation - we had 8 people on board, occupying 4 cabins. Of the 8, 4 were newbies to the cruise industry, and 1 had been on 2 prior cruises. For the people in my immediate family, I would qualify us as ... Read More
This was a large-scale family vacation - we had 8 people on board, occupying 4 cabins. Of the 8, 4 were newbies to the cruise industry, and 1 had been on 2 prior cruises. For the people in my immediate family, I would qualify us as "seasoned cruisers." In saying this, I mean that we know what to realistically expect, having been on approximately 10 cruises, across all of the major family lines. I will break this down into 3 sections - the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
THE GOOD: The featured entertainment was terrific. We attended 3 shows in the main theater. While dance shows are not necessarily my thing, Burn the Floor was a very solid production. The dancing was terrific, and the featured musicians (guitar, bass, percussion) were all exceptional. The production of Priscilla was Broadway quality in production value, costume, acting and singing. Mind you that this is coming from an individual who lives in NYC, and is comparing it to real Broadway productions. The "Epic Beatles" were sensational. We had the opportunity to sit front row at their show in the Epic Theater, and it was fabulous. I regret that we could not see other shows in the Cavern Club because it was IMPOSSIBLE to get in. The Dueling Pianos (Howl at the Moon) were also terrific.
THE BAD: Some of this has already been said, but it needs to be restated. The layout of the room (we had a "suite") is just strange. The shop only has 2 elevator banks - fore and aft. Any large ship we have ever been on in the past has 3 banks. This led to extended waits for the elevator. The main pools are way too small for a ship this size. Factor in that twice during the cruise one pool had to be shut down, and it amplifies the situation. There was way too much smoking on board, both in the casino and on the pool deck. Unless you had prior reservations, it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a seat at ANY of the "specialty" dining or show experiences. This included all of the restaurants, the "Cirque Dreams and Diner", and the "Escape the Big Top" event.
THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY: And ugly it was. We had purchased all of our travel arrangements through NCL. I found out at 1:30AM on Saturday, April 20 that all of our flights had been cancelled. NCL's emergency travel service could not place us on a flight anywhere near NYC. After I spoke with a representative for Delta, I was informed about options out of Hartford. I promptly reached back out to NCL, and they booked us on the flight out of Hartford. I should not have to be the one handling the alternate travel arrangements, and the, "Sorry, we cannot do anything to help you" attitude didn't really fly with me (no pun intended). There were issues with our return flights as well. Guest services assured us that only 2 people in my party would be returning via Hartford. Delta had other thoughts in mind, and this led to some issues with the kids we were traveling with.
The cruise director, Mandy, and her staff did a poor job of engaging the guests. It was disheartening to see one of her staff members struggle to find 10 people to participate in a game pool side on the last sea day. The piece de resistance, however, was the failure by anyone associated with NCL to apologize / make things right when members of the CD staff accidentally spilled a full glass of wine on my wife. No offer to replace the drink, no offer to clean the damage clothing, no assistance in cleaning up, not even an apology. I spoke with guest services, who contacted the assistant CD, Sandra. I was told she would be down to talk to us in "5 minutes." 5 became 15, and 15 became, "She cannot make it down, but she will call you in your cabin tomorrow morning at 8." In a word, unacceptable.
With cruising as our vacation of choice, I can safely say that we will cross NCL off of our list when considering future cruises. Read Less
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